IDAHO FALLS, Idaho, April 10, 2020 – As the region adjusts to the economic strain of shuttered businesses and social distancing, East Idaho Credit Union is stepping in to help eight local food banks stock their shelves.
The credit union is collecting funds for food banks in the eight communities they serve throughout the region that includes the Snake River Valley in addition to Arco, Challis, and Salmon.
“The food banks are seeing a surge of need right now, but at the same time most are unable to accept canned food donations from the public,” said Dan Thurman, East Idaho’s president and CEO. “Credit Unions are essential and our drive-ups remain open, so we have a unique opportunity to step up and help the food banks that are also essential to the needs of so many people right now.”
Early this week, executives at the Idaho Falls-based credit union reached out to their various communities including Shelley, Rexburg, St. Anthony, Arco, Challis, Salmon, along with Idaho Falls and Pocatello to identify food banks in each community to assist. Employees are now asking members in the credit union’s drive-up lanes if they’d like to contribute to their respective community’s food bank. They’ve also setup a payment portal on their website that allows people to donate online and designate which community food bank they want their funds to help.
“With everything that we’re all facing, it’s important to keep others in mind,” said Toby Hayes, East Idaho Credit Union’s vice president of marketing. “No matter what is going on in the world, our focus will always be on the strength of our local communities and how we can meet the financial needs of individuals.”
East Idaho Credit Union was founded in Idaho in 1935 in the midst of the Great Depression, first to serve federal employees at the Idaho Falls Post Office and now those who live, work or attend school in an 11 county region of Eastern Idaho. Last year East Idaho Credit Union received the Credit Union National Association’s community service award for their long-standing program of providing new shoes to children in need. In 2019 their Kicks for Kids foundation distributed more than 1,500 pairs of shoes to children in the region.
Because food banks are not able to accept physical donations of food, the money raised by East Idaho Credit Union will help the food banks purchase the needed goods and supplies to keep families fed. The Community Food Basket in Idaho Falls has recently reported a 20 percent increase in demand as more people face financial hardship.
“Our communities need all our help right now,” said Thurman. “We’re happy to help connect our small towns to meet the need during this difficult time for so many people.”
Donations can be made at any East Idaho Credit Union branch or by donating online at EastIdahoCU.org.
The food banks being supported by East Idaho Credit Union are:
Helping Hands – Challis
North Bingham County Community Food Bank – Shelley
Family Crisis Center – Rexburg
Community Food Basket – Idaho Falls
Church of the Epiphany Food Bank – Arco
Upper Valley Bible Church Food Bank – St. Anthony
Calvary Chapel Food Bank – Salmon
Food Bank of Idaho – Pocatello